The Dragon’s Rise: Chapter Nine

In Training

 

Tiger Ranger pounced through the air and slashed her daggers across a rock soldier’s chest. The last of the grunts fell backward onto the amphitheater steps.

 

Bandora’s new dark warrior leapt through the air and landed near Tiger Ranger. DoraNinja was dressed in brown-and-black camouflage and carried a katana. The creature sprang at the Yellow Ranger and swung his blade towards her helmet. 

 

Tiger Ranger parried the blade with one of her daggers and slashed the other dagger across the monster’s chest with a burst of spark. Tiger Ranger moved in low and kicked the legs out from underneath the creature.

 

DoraNinja flipped back to his feet, extended his palm, and fired an invisible energy pulse that exploded against Tiger Ranger’s armor. The blast sent her stumbling backward.

 

The other Rangers regrouped around Tiger Ranger and helped her to her feet. DoraNinja dashed towards the Rangers with a blur of motion and streaked back and forth while slashing them across their armor, blade sparking on impact.

 

The Rangers slumped to their knees as the dark warrior moved to the top of the amphitheater steps and stared down at the team. Dragon Ranger appeared besides the dark warrior and crossed his arms over his chest.

 

“Do you like him, Rangers?” Dragon Ranger asked in a vile tone. “I made him myself.”

 

Tyranno Ranger slowly rose to his feet, his body still injured. “I didn’t think you’d need to hide behind a poor-man’s ninja, warlord.”

 

Dragon Ranger looked to the creature he’d summoned. “The red one is mine. Take care of the others.”

 

Dragon Ranger somersaulted forward through the air and brought a knifehand chop down towards Tyranno Ranger’s head. Tyranno Ranger blocked the blow and snapped a high round kick. Dragon Ranger knocked the kick away and moved forward with an inner crescent kick that slammed against Tyranno Ranger’s helmet.

 

Tyranno Ranger was forced back, and Dragon Ranger pounced forward, swinging both his hands towards Red Ranger’s head like a pair of claws. Tyranno Ranger held his arms out to block the blow, and the opponents pressed their arms against each other.

 

Dragon Ranger sidestepped and knocked Tyranno Ranger’s arms away. He follow with a spinning heel kick that slammed against the Ranger’s helmet and knocked him backward. Tyranno Ranger went stumbling down the amphitheater steps.

 

Nearby, Mammoth Ranger and Ptera Ranger moved towards DoraNinja from opposite sides. They swung their Blade Blasters towards the monster’s body. The dark warrior blocked the blow, slapped their weapons away, and slashed them both across the chest with a series of strikes.

 

Tiger Ranger took the creature by surprise with a flurry of kick combinations that forced the creature back. She followed with a powerful swing of her daggers that slashed across the monster’s chest.

 

“Mammoth Breaker!” Mammoth Ranger energized his axe and swung downward

 

The axe chopped through the dark warrior’s chest. The monster fell backward, its energy overloading and exploding with a ball of flame.

 

Dragon Ranger kicked Tyranno Ranger aside and turned to the other four Rangers.

 

“Dragon’s Fang!” He gathered a sphere of crackling jade energy between his hands and hurled the blast at the Rangers.

 

The energy blast exploded against the four Rangers’ armor with a violent explosion that knocked them backward. Dragon Ranger was gone when they rose to their feet.

 

***

 

Trini arrived at Rosedale Park in Angel Grove West to meet with her grandfather. The park was nestled in between a group of upscale high-rise apartment units of white, ornate brick. The park itself was dotted with trees, bushes, and a fountain fashioned after a miniature water fall.

 

“You’re late,” Trini’s grandfather, Tao said.

 

“Sorry, grandfather,” she said. “Dad and I got into it again.”

 

The excuse was not completely false. Trini and her father by adoption had spent the afternoon arguing. Bandora’s attack delayed her meeting even further.

 

Tao sighed and nodded. “He objects to everything I try to teach you.”

 

“I’m sorry,” Trini said again, not knowing what else she could say.

 

“It’s not your fault,” he said. “Ever since I took him into my home when he was an orphan, he has objected my teachings. To this day I don’t know why.”

 

Trini nodded, letting the silence speak for itself. Her father was an uncomfortable topic for both of them.

 

Tao shook his head to clear his mind so he could turn his attention to the task at hand. “Shall we continue?”

 

Trini nodded. They started moving through a slow and beautiful kata. Each movement possessed a deadly grace.

 

***

 

Scorpina watched through her crystal ball as Trini moved through a series of fluid movements. The villain stood alongside her lover Goldar in their private chambers inside Bandora’s palace. “These Rangers are always training to fight, while I’m stuck here.” She shot a look at Goldar. “Well?”

 

Goldar nodded. “I agree we have been out of the fight for too long. Ever since Bandora gave the dragon coin to that….boy.”

 

Scorpina nodded. She was destined to be the strongest warrior ever. It was a destiny she was eager to claim. “Well I’m sick of waiting.” She swatted her crystal ball away, and it crashed onto the foggy ground beneath Goldar’s feet.

 

“I’m going down to Earth,” she said.

 

Scorpina, my love…” Goldar started to object.

 

“Shut up,” she pushed Goldar out of her way.

 

Dragon Ranger stood concealed in the shadows and laughed to himself. “Those two fools.”

 

***

 

Trini walked through the park after her workout. She suddenly heard someone step out from the trees several meters behind her. She turned to see Scorpina standing with a boomerang blade in hand. 

 

“Tiger Ranger!” Scorpina aimed her blade at the ranger.

 

Scorpina again?” Trini snapped into a fighting stance. “I was wondering what happened to you.” She pulled out her buckler and thrust it forward, snapping it open while shouting: “Dino Buckler!”

 

Yellow energy shimmered around her as she transformed into her Ranger form. She snapped into a tiger-like fighting stance. “Tiger Ranger! Yellow!”

 

The opponents charged at each other. Scorpina swung her blade towards Tiger Ranger’s head. Tiger Ranger ducked under the blow and armed her Blade Blaster in its dagger mode. She swung the weapon upward in a blow that sparked against Scorpina’s armor.

 

***

 

Dragon Ranger stood with his back to the wall within Bandora’s palace. He was in one of the many corridors, listening to the melody that Kyra played on her energy harp. The melody always penetrated him. Made him feel…something. Something elusive. It was calming and maddening. Longing and raging.

 

“That song…” he said.

 

He was suddenly grabbed by the neck and thrown across the room.

 

“Never intrude on my personal matters again, Ranger!” Goldar shouted.

 

“I am a warlord,” Dragon Ranger armed his sword. “It would be best that you treated me like one!”

 

Kyra stopped her music and ran in between the two villains. She spread her hands apart to keep them from tearing into each other. “Stop!” Kyra ironically hated violence. At least when it was at her doorstep.

 

Gurail was at her heels, not happy with her decision to intervene. “Kyra, my dear, perhaps we should-”

 

“No, Gurail,” Kyra said. “This has gone on for long enough. Must you two always fight?”

 

Goldar slapped her across the face with the back of his hand. “Does that answer your question.

 

“Dog!” Gurail launched at Goldar. He slammed the handle of his blade against Goldar’s chest and slammed an armored foot against the simian’s gut.

 

Dragon Ranger leaned down to Kyra and gently helped her to her feet. “Are you alright?” he asked with a softness that no one had ever heard.

 

Kyra nodded. “Yes…” she said, in a voice that made her seem frail.

 

Dragon Ranger nodded. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her. He was captivated by her blue eyes. They stirred the same emotions as her music.

 

Nearby, Gurail slammed the back of his fist across Goldar’s head. The Titan warrior fell back against the ground, and Gurail held his blade towards the simian’s throat. “Touch her again, and I will kill you.”

 

Goldar stood, knocked the weapon aside, and walked away.

 

Gurail moved over to Kyra and scooped her into his arms. He ran an armored hand across her face and gazed into her eyes. “Are you alright?”

 

“Yes,” she answered.

 

The two lovers walked away, moving down the corridor, and leaving Dragon Ranger alone in the shadows.

 

***

 

Scorpina slashed her blade across Tiger Ranger’s chest. Tiger Ranger was thrown backward and went stumbling across the ground before rising back to her knees.

 

 “Don’t bother getting up,” Scorpina said with a cold smile. She extended her hand palm up. A small work-like creature sat on her hand and opened a pair of tiny jaws. The worm spat lines of crimson energy that streaked out and wrapped around Tiger Ranger.

 

The worm surrounded Tiger Ranger in a cocoon of powerful red strands. The Yellow Ranger struggled to break free, but she could not snap through the strands, despite her best efforts.

 

Scorpina charged forward with her blade held high. She was ready to deal the Ranger a finishing blow. She had fantasized about this moment since Bandora’s first attack. She was about to slay a Ranger. One of Zordon’s Rangers.

 

Explosions sparked around her before she could strike. Tyranno Ranger and the rest of the team ran to the scene with their Blade Blasters aimed forward at the villain.

 

“Trini!” Ptera Ranger shouted as she ran over to the cocoon. She used her Blade Blaster in its saber mode to rip the strands off of the Yellow Ranger.

 

“Thanks, Kim,” Tiger Ranger said.

 

Scorpina twisted her palm and let the worm creature drop to the ground. The worm radiated with energy, grew to human size, and started snapping its jaws. Scorpina stepped backward and shimmered away so her pet could do its work.

 

“Well it was nice to see her again,” Mammoth Ranger said.

 

Tyranno Ranger nodded. “Tell me about it. Now let’s turn this thing into worm food!”

 

The worm, DoraSilkis, thwipped a webline that wrapped around Tiger Ranger’s leg. The worm snapped its head back, tossing Tiger Ranger through the air, and sending her smashing against a tree.

 

Tricera Ranger and Mammoth Ranger moved in to attack with their weapons. The worm used its webbing to pull Tricera Ranger’s lance away and whip the weapon against the Black Ranger’s chest.

 

“Power Blade!” Tyranno Ranger shouted as his sword flashed with red energy. He swung the blade downward, emitting a shockwave that ripped through the worm creature. The monster fell backward, and its energy overloaded and exploded.

 

***

 

Scorpina returned to her chambers where Goldar waited. She started pounding her fists against the wall with a fit of anger. “Damn you, Bandora. If you were a real leader…this world would be ours by now…”

 

“Patience, my love…” Goldar said. “The Rangers are not immortal.”

 

Scorpina grinned. “Neither is Bandora.”

 

To be continued…Chapter 10